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About R J Hillhouse

  • Dr. Hillhouse has run Cuban rum between East and West Berlin, smuggled jewels from the Soviet Union and slipped through some of the world’s tightest borders. From Uzbekistan to Romania, she's been followed, held at gunpoint and interrogated. Foreign governments and others have pitched her for recruitment as a spy. (They failed.)

    A former professor and Fulbright fellow, Dr. Hillhouse earned her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Michigan. Her latest novel, OUTSOURCED (Forge Books) is about the turf wars between the Pentagon and the CIA and the privatization of national security.

    Dr. Hillhouse is an expert on national security outsourcing. Her controversial work has twice elicited a formal response by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence--the only times that office has ever publicly responded to the writings of a private citizen.

    She is a regular media guest and available for interviews.

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  • "This gripping blog is filled with compelling posts on private intel corporations, mercenaries, the CIA, and the War on Terror."
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OUTSOURCED.

« Wire Service Picks Up The Spy Who Billed Me Intel Budget Story | Main | The Office of the Director of National Intelligence Responds »

June 07, 2007

Comments

Anonymous

Before the hyperventilating begins, I wanted to say that whatever portion of the 70% that has gone to 'green badges' merely represents the budgets allocating to the best value for the services. If total costs for contractors are less than total costs for GS personnel, and they are equally competent (which they are), then it's a good value.

On the other hand, it's the politics behind it that are sketchy.

R J Hillhouse

Regular readers will know I'm not going to be the one doing the hyperventilating, even though it would be the smartest thing I could do to sell OUTSOURCED .

I agree that work by contractors, at least in the case of the CIA, is at least as good as what was previously performed in house. It's the same people doing the work--paid much more even with the recent cap. And they are without the constraints of HRM and politics from the 7th floor political appointees.

70%--$42 billion according to the ODNI presentation--is allocated to contractors. The bulk of that undoubtedly goes to DoD. We have no way of knowing how much goes to personal services contracts or to "green badgers."

As for the best value from "green badgers," I would never go there. There are a lot of benefits and some very big drawbacks, particularly due to the haphazard way in which this aquamarine system of blue and green badgers was cobbled together.

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Acknowledgements

  • A tip of the hat to investigative journalist Tim Shorrock who inspired the name of this blog with his path-breaking 2005 article, "The Spy Who Billed Me."

    Shorrock has a dedicated web page on outsourcing in intel. It links to many of his articles which are must-reads for anyone interested in the privatization of intelligence.